'Insecure' creator and star Issa Rae is featured on the latest cover of Essence magazine.
In a post on Instagram, Issa credits Essence for opening the doors for her career and catapulting her to stardom.
"Four years ago, when all I had was a web series and a book, @Essence put me on my first cover with four incredible women I look up to: Ava, Mara, Shonda and Ms. Debbie. It was their "Game Changers" issue and I kept thinking, "I can't believe they chose me." That cover meant so much to me because it validated my work on a platform I respected AND it was a nurturing recognition of promise, a promise that I didn't necessarily see in myself at the time," Issa wrote.
"Four years later -- entering the fourth season of my TV show, and shooting my fourth movie in New York -- they honored me with this solo cover. Thank you, Essence, for helping me to deliver on that promise you saw years ago, and changing the game for me."
In the interview with Essence, she opened up about her experience of growing up as a Black girl and coming to terms with what her skin color represents.
“My parents helped me and they hurt me,” she reflects. “My mom was extremely pro-Black, and I believed her. My dad is Senegalese, and I grew up around my dark-skinned cousins and just thought that they were the most beautiful women in the world. I was surrounded by beautiful dark people. And then middle school hit, and I was like, Oh, they think I’m ugly. They think I’m big. They think I’m unattractive. I went back to my mom like, ‘What the f—k?! Y’all lied to me my whole life. What is this?!’ I started realizing, Mom, you’re light-skinned. So I don’t know what you were talking about. It’s not like you can relate to being dark. And your hair is not the same texture as mine. So what do you know about telling me I’m beautiful? Why would you lie to me? That definitely had an impact on how I saw myself," she told Essence.